Early Years at Barr View Primary
At Barr View Primary Academy, we place great value on the development of children as individuals and providing them with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need for their educational journey and beyond. Our aim in the EYES is to build strong foundations rooted in academic success as well as moral and spiritual development. Fundamental British Values are at the heart of our curriculum and everything we do. We focus on promoting the more general concepts within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and understand that the children's development within these areas is key to promoting the values in the long term.
We endeavour to give each child the best stat in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their full potential and achieve future success. Our curriculum is therefore the cultural capital we know our pupils need so that they can gain the knowledge, skills and understanding they require for success. They can only do that if we embed the right habits for learning through the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning, Play and Exploration, Active Learning and Creative and Critical Thinking.
We have an increasing number of children with difficulties in communication and language. Therefore, we place great importance on having a language rich environment to support our pupils to develop these skills. Our enabling environment and skilful adult interactions support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration. Throughout the EYES, we invest time and energy into helping pupils set and reflect on their own goals by aiming high and developing a love of reading, writing and number. This is delivered through a holistic curriculum which maximises opportunities tor meaningful cross-curricular links, problem solving and learning experiences as well as promoting the unique child offering extended periods of play and sustained thinking following children's interests and ideas. We value imagination and creativity and seek to create a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning through a vibrant continuous indoor and outdoor provision, alongside trips and visits.
At Barr View Primary Academy, we offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced, which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points. We follow the Early Years curriculum using topic themes and enrichment opportunities.
This is implemented through the seven areas of learning through a balance of whole class/group teaching and play based learning. This takes in to account the children's interests, topics, themes, continuous provision activities, and phonics. The curriculum is planned in a cross-curricular way to enable all aspects of children's development including understanding the world and expressive art and design as well as to promote sustained thinking and active leaming. We recognise the changing needs and interests of our pupils and we are responsive to this, regularly developing existing topics. Children are provided with plenty of time to engage in 'exploration' throughout the variety of experiences carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision.
During the school day, children will have an opportunity to work independently, work collaboratively with their friends and with members of staff. The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside classrooms and equal importance is given to learning in both areas.
The Early Years uses core texts as a basis for topic planning and usually start with an exciting book to engage children in both the topic and the book. Children develop their literacy skills by the imitation of stories that they learn using actions and story mapping techniques. They then move on to innovation of these well-known stories
by including their own ideas. Children also have the opportunities to show independence in their writing by planning and writing their own stones. Literacy opportunities are also promoted in many of the continuous provision activities available to children during the week.
Phonics is taught daily through the highly successful Read, Write Inc. program. Phonic sounds are introduced to children each day in an engaging way. The phonics activities are revisited to embed over the year and supported in a range of ways including associating actions with these.
Speech & language is assessed through Wellcomm. This is then addressed through targeted interventions sometimes individually and in small groups. Skilled staff will also support through daily interactions within the ongoing provision.
The maths curriculum is taught through daily dedicated sessions. These sessions are carefully planned using concrete resources and build on prior learning and real life experiences across the theme and year. This starts with mastering numbers 0-5 and then progresses through to 0-10 and 0-20. We want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they nave learnt to real life experiences.
To support our wider curriculum, we provide regular opportunities for parents and carers to come into school and work with their child, share their work and celebrate successes. We keep parents informed and we met regularly with them to ensure children's transition into school and through the EYES is happy and allows them to reach their potential with the support needed. This includes transition days, nursery or home visits, stay and play sessions, parent workshops, teddy bears picnic, Seesaw, learning Journeys, wow moments, reports and parent consultations as well as more frequent informal communication to suit individual families.
We also support the transition into Reception/Key Stage 1 tor both child and parents. We prepare children for the next stage with visits to their new class, meeting the teacher and ensuring the environments are similar at the end of EYES and the stat of Year 1. Parents have the opportunity to meet with new teachers and visit their child's new learning environment. They also complete 'moving on' activities with their child throughout the summer term. These aim to support the transition for all.
The impact of our curriculum is measured by assessment procedures which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally. We measure the percentage of pupils achieving age related expectations throughout the academic year, put supportive interventions in place it and when needed. Every member of staff uses ongoing observational assessment to identity children's stating points and plan experiences which ensure progress. Class teachers use observations to make formative assessments which inform future planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace. Summative assessment compares children attainment to age related expectations using month bands in Development Matters. This is tracked using Target Tracker to ensure rates of progress are at least good for all children, including vulnerable groups such as those with SEND, disadvantaged or summer born children. Our assessment judgements have been moderated both in school and externally with local schools and others in our trust. We also partake in local authority moderation which has validated our school judgements.
The impact of our curriculum will also be measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well rounded individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens. Through the seven areas of leaming we provide topics that excite and engage children, building on own interests and developing their experiences of the world around them. It facilitates them to gain the skills, know ledge and understanding, as they start out on their educational journey, supporting them to progress and preparing them for the next stage of their education.
We strive to ensure that our children's progress across the EYES curriculum is good from their varied starting points. We also strive for children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception and to be at least in line with National Expectations. We have exceeded this in the past ten years. Evidence in children's learning journeys (including Seesaw) support all areas of the EYES curriculum.